There are two kinds of selling. Demand selling where people are actively shopping for a product. And interruption selling where the consumer is not shopping just living their life and you attempt to connect and convince them to buy from you. Think having your credit card in hand and your browser open to Amazon (demand) versus eating dinner and having a solar panel salesman knock on your door (interruption).
The latter type of selling is harder because first you need get the consumers’ attention. Then you must convince them of the need for the product. And lastly, you have to convince them why to buy your product. A three stepper.
The toughest job I ever had was as a consumer salesman. Working for a kitchen remodeling company, I was tasked with intercepting consumers at big box stores and signing them up for in-home free estimates. It took me months to figure out how to get people to stop and talk — only then after breaking the ice could I begin to sell.
A great deal of advertising today is about capturing attention. Think Geico. It’s 90% attention 10% sell.
Branding strategy is way different than advertising. Brand strategy is totally focused on convincing consumers “why” your brand. Brand strategies that spend time garnering attention or trying to convince consumers to buy a product they’re not shopping for is someone else’s job. The agencies job.
And brand strategies that promise consumer happiness as a brand value are ridiculous. (Unless selling Xanax.) Brand strategy is about selling product. Not movements. Not emotional outcomes. Not attention. It’s about positioning your product, de-positioning competitors, and as Jack Trout and Al Ries would say, establishing a unique place in the mind of consumers tied to an endemic brand advantage.
Brand strategy development is nonbinary. Find your single, key consumer benefit and lock it down.